So today is Sunday and the wife and myself have been going to a korean church now pretty much every sunday for a number of months now.  She wanted to start going and I have just a small amount of experience with churches since my family didn’t really get involved too much with churches when I was growing up.

It’s a smaller amount of people in this congregation of a korean based church outside of chicago that also shares their space with two other churches for different countries.

So it’s a ‘new’ experience for me just going to a church every weekend just in itself but the fact that it’s 100% korean for the most part (some english on the lyrics ) it’s the exposure to an all korean environment that at times I can drift off with my attention.  I’m an adult full blown into learning korean but still deal with the issue of ‘comprehensible input’ and for the most part a good majority is not comprehensible at real speed.  I don’t have a good grasp of church proceedings to begin with so it’s tough at times trying to figure out how to utilize this time for both religious and language learning sides of the equation.  So I dealt with drifting off and daydreaming today.  Not good but is the reality of what happened today.

Some of the people there have been extremely nice and we are fortunate in their kindness as I sit through a majority of it without know much about what is actually going on.  The head on realization of your korean language level and how low it is as opposed to how you would like to think it is or should be after long attempts at learning korean is something to deal with all on it’s own I think.

It will be nice if I can get to point later this year that I can understand at least sections of the sermon as opposed to today they had a guest speaker that is spending much of his time at a church in Russia but I didn’t know anything about it till on the drive home the wife explained to me what the pastor was speaking on.  Korean, English(we spoke briefly after the end of the service) and trying to learn Russian for this gentlemen and his wife.  That’s a very interesting speech I missed out on today due to lack of understanding and attention focus problems.

I spoke briefly with the pastor of the church on whether his children are fluent in korean as they are raised here in the states and go to school here so they are that flip flop of children of korean speakers and are more fluent in english than korean but he uses korean in the house so they will speak korean as they get older.  Good to see that and hope them all the best as the pastor has been very kind and understanding with a new member of his congregation that is the only american in it.


Talk to me in Korean – Hacked

Saw the other day Talktomeinkorean.com site was down and basically just showing ‘OK’ in the top left corner and now I go there today and first saw a site which appeared to be mostly in Chinese and now it looks like below


What in the world are people hacking this great site?  Jeeezzz pain in the butt they are getting so much attention from negative elements.  Hope they figure out how to fix this soon.

Still waiting for my refund from fluentu.com.  I mentioned in my last post how immediately they put a charge on my credit card even though there is a 15 day trial ….supposedly….. and now I wait days to see a refund.

Just got done with my 1st skype korean language lesson of the week.  My brain hurts right now but it’s good being so accountable to someone as I proceed on this path again. Now onto seeing if I can find another korean drama to watch.  What does dramafever.com have that might interest me for my next drama?

FluentU – Stay away

So I’ve seen this site FluentU.com around for awhile.  They provide video’s and other content at what is supposed to be a level you can learn from.  Korean wa available…… So I’m a sucker for good web sites that may help me in my korean language learning journey so I pulled trigger tonight to check it out.

They have a 15 day free trial but I knew something was wrong when I had to enter a credit card to get in that far.  I used my paypal account and within 10 minutes I was trying to figure out how to cancel my subscription, submit a ticket to these guys and send a email back to their email to me giving me a .pdf file that they charged me 30 dollars already that this was only for the trial and believe me after the 10 minutes I knew this was a complete waste of money and time!

There were a total 14 videos for korean language learners.  They show levels from newbie to native level with at least 5 more levels in between these. So yes 14 videos total with most of them at newbie to beginner level.  No videos at all for the higher levels or should I say no videos for most of the levels.

Concept is cool but this implementation from them is horrible.  Just going through 뽀로로 video in newbie section they tried to cut up the video’s into sections you could learn from.  The only problem is the video cuts didn’t match up with the word.  For example the word for bag – 가방 they cut after the ka sound.  Not helpful if your trying to learn the word for bag.

Then for the sounds of sentences they had computer automated voice translate those sentences.  Come on your charging 30 dollars a month for the premium plan and video editing and voice automation is all you could provide and might I say a very poor job of it.

What can I say.  Stay away from these guys at least if your learning korean.  I’m trying to get my 30 dollars back but I won’t let this ruin my love of 뽀로로!


Chest cold

I seemed to have caught a chest cold twice this year already.  I missed some workouts but I didn’t miss any Skype Korean lessons.  It’s effected my throat and hard to talk at times but the Korean learning must go on.  Not quite the strong start to 2017 I was planning but this cold or whatever it is seems to be lingering around.

Almost done watching ‘Goblin’ on dramafever.com.  I liked it a lot in the beginning stages but it’s dragging out the last few episodes.  But in either case this is my first Korean drama of 2017 that I watched.


My Korean teacher that is based out of Australia uses Quizlet.com website.  I don’t see SRS type functionality there and seems more like straight flash cards ….at least the part I use it there for.  Getting used to that site.

Finally I like my apple tv a bit more than the roku device I was using.  Dramafever is the main app I use on that since I pay for the yearly subscription.  Viki.com has some Korean subtitles on some of it’s content but as I poked around it’s not consistent so a bit of a disappointment.  Would be nice if a drama service provider had content with all of it’s subtitles available in Korean instead of here and there.  But even though my apple tv unit can display Korean subtitles with no problem where the roku device couldn’t I still like it.

2018 – Korean Trip Planning stages

We are planning to go to Korean sometime probably mid-summer in 2018.  Slowly I’ve been getting some up front things planned out.  Got the Korean Air skypass credit card and try to pay everything that we would have to with that to get miles.  With the miles we have and planned miles that we will accumulate we ‘hopefully’ should be able to get business class upgrade.

Business class which is the way we went on our last trip to Korea (together with the wife) was great.  Economy for that many hours is challanging and it seems like a tall person like myself attracts that short person who sits in front of you and needs to try and push the seat back as far as it goes.

Started up a savings account and put in some money for the 1st month of 2017 into it.  Now if I can keep up putting money into every month we should be ok by the time we go. Korean lessons I’ve kinda of settled in with a couple of teachers and just got through with tonights 100% korean lesson.  So I think I have the korean language learning journey back to full gear at the moment or at least it’s going a much greater pace than ever before.

It’s a rather pleasant way to end the week with a lesson that is 100% korean(some english words are thrown around) as it kinds of beats into me how much more I have to go through but as long as I can continue making the lesson payments it’s worth it as it’s a wakeup call how lazy one self studying can be at times.

The olympic’s will be in the winter of 2018 but the wife already said she would prefer going over there in spring or summer time.

Looking forward to our next visit to Korea!


불고기 – New Korean favorite dish?

I’ve spent the majority of my adult life as a vegetarian.  It was sometime in college that I made the switch and for over two decades I have followed that course.  I was for short time a vegan but most of the time I was lacto-ovo vegetarian.

Lacto-ovo just means you can eat dairy and egg products which makes being a vegetarian especially for a single male many years ago and not one to cook much…. not that hard. When eating out you can usually find something that falls within that boundary and these days you could eat out being a vegan here in chicago with just a little effort.

I was married in korea and have been there 3 times and all during that time as a vegetarian.  Since we have now passed December it has been two years since I had to have a major surgery that shook my life …..well it was my very first surgery and all though the end result is fine it made me wake up that I wasn’t in the best of shape or overall health.

Being a vegetarian does not mean your eating healthy and doesn’t equate to forcing you to get off your butt and exercise.  But whatever your viewpoint is on the matter of what you eat for myself I decided to take a broad look at my diet and health.

It took awhile and it started with chicken salad sandwiches while I stayed in the hospital two years ago and after much investigation I find myself following a paleo type diet now.  The first thing I did two years ago was to start giving up processed foods, sugar and all the crap that is found in so many places in the american diet.  The list of ingredients on so many items once you start googling what they are make you totally start thinking to yourself what the heck am I putting in my body.

But it’s been only in the last half of 2016 that  I started eating 불고기.  It was a slow start but now this past weekend I went to H-Mart here in chicago (korean supermarket) and bought some kobe beef and pork 불고기 all by myself.  The wife usually does the shopping at H-Mart but I wanted some 불고기 for new years eve so she told me to go get some and being a vegetarian all these years it’s not like I know how to buy meat very well.

Kobe beef I’ve heard about before that it is supposed to be good beef from like japan or something and I found some and the section that had other 불고기 type meats.  Not too bad this New Year’s eve and since I was eating it on lettuce leaves that for sure falls under low carb classificiation also.

I’m am slowing starting to discover korean dishes that I like but have never touched before and even though I would say I am a picky eater….I am finding them. When we go back to korea in 2018 it will be for sure a totally different experience at least in terms of eating in Korea.

I look forward to trying 불고기 dishes and even beer and chicken places in korea which I have heard are very good but have not tried any the next time we make it over there.  Can’t wait to have some soju and bbq 불고기 at some korean restaurants!



새해 복 많이 받으세요 – 2017

So we start 2017 and I am at least on track again learning Korean.  So better that I’ve been doing this for at least almost 4 months before the start of the year so I get a running start into 2017 with my goals.

It’s been a on/off up/down process and language learning while also a working adult with many other responsibilities is for sure a challenge and a challenge I have not been too good with up till now.

The end of 2016 saw other additions which add to my desire to become fluent in korean.  For a couple of months now we have started going to church on sundays.  A korean based church here in the chicagoland area and it’s a smaller congregation.  Of course the sermon is all in korean and up till now I am the only american that attends.  I’m happy that we started up as my wife for a long time has wanted to start going so here we are now a regular on sundays.

Of course the pastor speaks at normal pace and I struggle to catch words and when songs are being done it’s I think good hearing korean in a music form to pick up faster it’s still all new to me since I have not attended church since I was very young.

Also the wife and I continue to talk about visiting korea again in 2018 so fluency is going to take a lot of work in 2017 to see what level I can reach before that time.  We don’t know if we are going to attend the olympics in Korea in 2018 or just wait till summer time of that year but discussions continue on that matter.

I have settled into having korean lessons 3 days a week on skype with two teachers.  The one teacher is more structured but has alot of experience and I am one of those students where I have alot of knowledge of korean and a large vocabulary but still in the beginner realm of putting together sentences or that is at least my own personal assessment where I stand.

The other teacher only conducts class in korean and that is crazy good in terms of being 100% immersed in korean during that very short hour that goes by in literally one minute.  I justify in my mind as being like a car payment everymonth and since I have my own personal car paid off for now something I will continue unless funds get tight.

The accountability factor and also since I end up paying alot every month really makes me more aware of what I’m doing in this language learning journey.  The fact that I always seem to have a class coming up I’ve ended up studying on a more consistent basis than I ever have in the past.

I got alot of use out of the phrase 새해 복 많이 받으세요 today at church.  I appear to have said it correctly alot according to my wife.  Most people tell me Happy New Year’s in english which I returned to some also in english and then it’s like ok take a deep breath and start returning those Happy New Year’s with it’s korean equivalent whether I mess it up or not which I started to do.

Here’s to a successful 2017 in my korean language learning journey.